Tuchel's damning assessment of Chelsea's draw at Zenit
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Chelsea have been given a lifeline in their hopes of keeping Antonio Rudiger, according to reports. The central defender has proven to be an integral part of Thomas Tuchel’s starting line-up ever since the German head coach took over at Stamford Bridge.
His presence was clearly missed in Wednesday’s frustrating 3-3 draw with Zenit St Petersburg as Chelsea missed out on top spot in their group.
But Rudiger has played a key role in Chelsea’s strong start to the Premier League season with the Blues conceding just nine goals in 15 games.
There is an underlying issue on Rudiger’s future at the club though with Chelsea so far reluctant to meet his demands in contract talks.
The Germany international is reportedly looking for a deal worth in the region of £200,000-a-week.
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Chelsea’s hesitancy in striking a deal with their star defender has alerted clubs all over Europe with Rudiger able to hold talks with potential suitors in January.
And it was reported earlier this week that Real Madrid had moved ahead of the queue for his signature with a deal said to have been ‘agreed’.
However, Chelsea may still have some hope left with SportBild claiming no such agreement is in place with Real.
Rudiger is still said to be ‘dissatisfied’ with his current situation at Chelsea with no clearer indication an improved offer will come in.
But it’s clear that Tuchel values the defender highly and would prefer him to stay beyond the end of the season.
Speaking last month, Tuchel stated that he hoped for a “happy end” to Rudiger’s contract drama.
“He (Rudiger) has been outstanding from day one and is getting better and better at a very high level,” Tuchel said after the win over Leicester.
“The situation is the situation. We want him to stay, this is very clear and he knows it.
“But sometimes in these situations there is a certain delay and, obviously, there is a delay in these talks and his decision.
“It can happen these days but it does not effect his mentality, it doesn’t affect his quality, it doesn’t effect his behaviour.
“He is fully committed to Chelsea right now and I am absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and spectators.
“For me, he is a big competitor and he is exactly the right spot.
“He is in the most competitive league and at a club where winning matters, so let’s be a bit patient and hopefully we have a happy end.”
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